03 August 2009

The junk science of ink blots

If some psychologists are worried that knowledge of the Rorschach test posted to the Internet has invalidated the ink blots as a diagnostic tool, then perhaps they might consider the entire test to be useless as a diagnostic tool in the first place.

After all, based on that little bit of psycho-logic, the test was invalidated from the moment the first book on Rorschach appeared in the first library.

Moreover, the test was rendered invalid in its application to the millions of people who have gone through psychology courses that discussed the whole concept of figuring out personality through what people say in response to blotches on bits of paper.

And of course, that also would mean the test would be automatically invalidated for use on anyone who has previously been “tested” using Rorschach or a similar method.

Rather than jumping all over some Canadian doctor who posted information on Wikipedia, all those psychologists who are getting their knickers in proverbial knots might just consider that their own argument suggests that their much-praised “test” is perhaps a bit more like phrenology than they’d care to admit.

In other words, Rorschach might just be utterly useless - at best  - or junk science at worst.   It would be far more like divination than diagnosis and definitely heading for the realm of intellectual fraud.

And all of that is derived from the argument advanced by the people supposedly defending Rorschach's method.